Nutritional Characteristics of Wild and Cultivated Foods for Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) in Agricultural Landscapes
- 546 Downloads
Primate habitats are being transformed by human activities such as agriculture. Many wild primates include cultivated foods (crops) in their diets, calling for an improved understanding of the costs and benefits of crop feeding. We measured the macronutrient and antifeedant content of 44 wild and 21 crop foods eaten by chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) in a mosaic habitat at Bulindi, Uganda, to evaluate the common assertion that crops offer high nutritional returns compared to wild forage for primates. In addition, we analyzed 13 crops not eaten at Bulindi but that are consumed by chimpanzees elsewhere to assess whether nutritional aspects explain why chimpanzees in Bulindi ignored them. Our analysis of their wild plant diet (fruit, leaves, and pith) corresponds with previous chemical analyses of primate plant foods. Compared to wild food equivalents, crops eaten by the chimpanzees contained higher levels of digestible carbohydrates (mainly sugars) coupled with lower amounts of insoluble fiber and antifeedants. Cultivated fruits were relatively nutritious throughout the ripening process. Our data support the assumption that eating cultivated foods confers energetic advantages for primates, although crops in our sample were low in protein and lipids compared to some wild foods. We found little evidence that crops ignored by the chimpanzees were less nutritious than those that they did eat. Nonnutritional factors, e.g., similarity to wild foods, probably also influence crop selection. Whether cultivated habitats can support threatened but flexible primates such as chimpanzees in the long term hinges on local people’s willingness to share their landscape and resources with them.
KeywordsAgroecosystems Crop foraging Cultivars Dietary flexibility Human-dominated landscapes Nutritional ecology
We are grateful to the President’s Office, the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology, and the Uganda Wildlife Authority for permission to study the chimpanzees of Bulindi. Matthew McLennan’s fieldwork was supported by a fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust. We are particularly grateful to Tom Sabiiti for assistance in the field. For help with the chemical analyses we thank Irene Tomaschewski. Mary Namaganda and Olivia Maganyi at Makerere University Herbarium, Uganda, identified the taxonomy of several plants analyzed for this study. We thank Kimberley Hockings, Noemi Spagnoletti, Giuseppe Donati, Joanna Setchell, and the reviewers for helpful comments on the draft manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest or competing financial interest.
- Abdi, H. (2010). Holm’s sequential Bonferroni procedure. In N. Salkind (Ed.), Encyclopedia of research design (pp. 573–577). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.Google Scholar
- Association of Official Analytical Chemists. (1990). Official methods of analysis. Arlington: Association of Official Analytical Chemists.Google Scholar
- Conklin-Brittain, N. L., Knott, C. D., & Wrangham, R. W. (2006). Energy intake by wild chimpanzees and orangutans: Methodological considerations and a preliminary comparison. In G. Hohmann, M. M. Robbins, & C. Boesch (Eds.), Feeding ecology in apes and other primates (pp. 445–472). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Conover, M. R. (2002). Resolving human–wildlife conflicts: The science of wildlife damage management. Boca Raton: Lewis Publishers.Google Scholar
- Eley, R. M., Strum, S .C., Muchemi, G., & Reid, G. D .F. (1989). Nutrition, body condition, activity patterns, and parasitism of free‐ranging troops of olive baboons (Papio anubis) in Kenya. American Journal of Primatology, 18, 209–219.Google Scholar
- Forthman-Quick, D. L., & Demment, M. W. (1988). Dynamics of exploitation: Differential energetic adaptations of two troops of baboons to recent human contact. In J. E. Fa & C. H. Southwick (Eds.), Ecology and behavior of food-enhanced primate groups (pp. 25–51). New York: Alan R. Liss.Google Scholar
- Ghiglieri, M. P. (1984). The chimpanzees of Kibale Forest: A field study of ecology and social structure. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
- Hockings, K. J., & McLennan, M. R. (2016). Problematic primate behaviour in agricultural landscapes: Chimpanzees as ‘pests’ and ‘predators.’ In M. Waller (Ed.), Ethnoprimatology: Primate conservation in the 21st century (pp. 137–156). Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.Google Scholar
- Lorenti, G. (2014). Assessing fragmentation characteristics at Bulindi, western Uganda: Implications for primate conservation in a fragmented landscape. MSc dissertation, Oxford Brookes University.Google Scholar
- McLennan, M. R., & Hill, C. M. (2015). Changing agricultural practices and human–chimpanzee interactions: Tobacco and sugarcane farming in and around Bulindi, Uganda. In Arcus Foundation (Ed.), State of the apes: Industrial agriculture and ape conservation (pp. 29–31). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Naughton-Treves, L., & Treves, A. (2005). Socio-ecological factors shaping local support for wildlife: Crop-raiding by elephants and other wildlife in Africa. In R. Woodroffe, S. Thirgood, & A. Rabinowitz (Eds.), People and wildlife: Conflict or coexistence? (pp. 252–277). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Nowak, K., & Lee, P. C. (2013). “Specialist” primates can be flexible in response to habitat alteration. In L. K. Marsh & C. A. Chapman (Eds.), Primates in fragments: Complexity and resilience (pp. 199–211). Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects. New York: Springer Science+Business Media.Google Scholar
- Ortmann, S., Bradley, B. J., Stolter, C., & Ganzhorn, J. U. (2006). Estimating the quality and composition of wild animal diets: A critical survey of methods. In G. Hohmann, M. M. Robbins, & C. Boesch (Eds.), Feeding ecology in apes and other primates (pp. 395–418). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Paterson, J. D., & Wallis, J. (2005). Commensalism and conflict: The human–primate interface. Norman: American Society of Primatologists.Google Scholar
- Plumptre, A. J., Rose, R., Nangendo, G., Williamson, E. A., Didier, K., et al. (2010). Eastern chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) status survey and conservation action plan: 2010–2020. Gland: IUCN.Google Scholar
- Prakash, O., Kumar, R., Mishra, A., & Gupta, R. (2009). Artocarpus heterophyllus (Jackfruit): An overview. Pharmacognosy Reviews, 3, 353–358.Google Scholar
- Priston, N. E., & McLennan, M. R. (2013). Managing humans, managing macaques: Human–macaque conflict in Asia and Africa. In S. Radhakrishna, M. A. Huffman, & A. Sinha (Eds.), The macaque connection: Cooperation and conflict between humans and macaques (pp. 225–250). Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects. New York: Springer Science+Business Media.Google Scholar
- Sommer, V., Bauer, J., Fowler, A., & Ortmann, S. (2011). Patriarchal chimpanzees, matriarchal bonobos: Potential ecological causes of a Pan dichotomy. In V. Sommer & C. Ross (Eds.), Primates of Gashaka (pp. 469–501). Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects. New York: Springer Science+Business Media.Google Scholar
- Spagnoletti, N., Cardoso, T. C. M., Fragaszy, D., & Izar, P. (2017). Coexistence between humans and capuchins (Sapajus libidinosus): Comparing observational data with farmers’ perceptions of crop losses. International Journal of Primatology. doi: 10.1007/s10764-016-9926-9.
- Uganda Bureau of Statistics. (2014). National population and housing census 2014: Provisional results. Kampala: Uganda Bureau of Statistics.Google Scholar
- United States Department of Agriculture. (2016). National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28 (slightly revised May 2016). United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/. Accessed 1 July 2016.
- Warren, Y., Higham, J. P., MacLarnon, A. M., & Ross, C. (2011). Crop-raiding and commensalism in olive baboons: The costs and benefits of living with humans. In V. Sommer & C. Ross (Eds.), Primates of Gashaka (pp. 359–384). Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects. New York: Springer Science+Business Media.Google Scholar